By Larry S. Moore
March 4, 2014
I am constantly amazed at the many talented people around the Greene County area. One is Scott McPherson who has taken his love of fishing and lure making to national award winning levels. The 2014 Muskie Lure World Championship held at the Milwaukee Muskie Expo included lures entered from two countries and seven states. Entrants competed in two divisions and six categories within each division plus a best of show award.
The lures were judged by a professional panel of judges. McPherson took first place in the Masters Glide/Jerkbait Division plus Best of Show with a lure named “Double Vision.”
McPherson noted, “The World Championships started in 2012. I showed then but didn’t win. I won in 2013 and 2014. I really wanted the Best of Show honors. I always enjoyed fishing. I took art when I was in school and loved it. About 5 years ago I got into air brush painting. An understanding of fishing and a natural eye for the artistic qualities really helps to develop the lures.”
McPherson is actually self-taught with only a DVD for instruction. However, he grew up around art, the outdoors, car restoration, welding and painting. He also ran a charter boat on Lake Erie for a number of years. Lure making is bringing together all his background and talent to focus on creating fantastic air brush finished lures. It is an extension of what he has experienced and learned throughout his life.
He also does lures that are designed for fishing use. McPherson has the ability to make his lures look different from everything else other fishermen are using. It would be very cool if the next state record Muskie came from Caesar Creek Lake and was caught on a McPherson Muskie lure.
McPherson explains part of the process, “The photo finish wrap for the jerk baits makes a really nice finish. I use tissue paper as the copy paper in the Xerox and create the image of the lure through copying. The lure is painted white and then sprayed with adhesive. Then I very carefully wrap the lure. It has to be perfect the first time.
Once wrapped, I air brush around the top and blend any areas around the mouth or gills. It’s a very tough, delicate and time consuming process but the look of the finished lure makes it worthwhile.”
The lures are epoxy coated for both a shine and extremely hard durable finish. McPherson explains the process, “You don’t want a fast drying epoxy I use a two-part epoxy with 24 hour dry time. I mix equal parts of each and stir well. I use a brush to apply it to the lure. The secret is to run a heat gun about twelve-inches away from the lure for just a couple of minutes. This will pull any air bubbles out of the epoxy. Air bubbles were introduced during the stirring process.
Getting the air bubbles out is key to the smooth high gloss finish. Next I place the lures on a rotisserie I made where they spin dry for the next twenty-four hours. You can’t rush the process. Glitter may be applied after the epoxy is dried just a little with the heat gun. I’ll dip my brush into the glitter and lightly apply it. You don’t want to overdo the glitter.”
He continued, “When I go to a competition I am giving it my very best shot to win. I want to raise the bar and set the standard for the best winning lures. The baits I build are large baits in the ten to thirteen inch range and weighing between four and eleven ounces . I don’t want a lot of my lures in circulation. One of these days they may be worth a lot of money. If there is not a lot available someone may be able to say, I’ve got a Scott McPherson Muskie Lure and you really have something special.”
The wow factor just kept coming. It seemed with each lure that McPherson unwrapped that my eyes just kept getting wider with amazement trying to take in all the beauty, realism, creativity and artwork laid before me. The fine detail is nothing short of awesome. The unique detail on each lure makes them a collectable piece of artwork.
I’m amazed at the creative thinking that goes into making each unique lure. It took three months, start to finish, to complete the Double Vision lure for the competition.
McPherson agrees, “In order to win the World Championship, you have to think outside the box from what other makers are doing. You’ve got to be creative, fresh and unique in order to win. I don’t want to take the fun out of it. People keep asking me to sell the lures. You end up in a production mode and all the fun is gone. Production work can’t be as unique nor attention given to the details. I may give away or sell a select few lures but not in a quantity that takes away the fun.”
He concluded, “I can paint all winter. It’s a great winter hobby. When the weather breaks, the paint and brushes are put down. I am gone fishin’!”